Oakville, Ontario – A new report from MADD Canada is calling on provinces and territories to strengthen legislative and policy measures to prevent impaired driving and to better support victims and survivors.
The Top 10 Report: Provincial and Territorial Measures to Minimize Impaired Driving and Support Victims provides each province and territory with an individualized set of 10 recommendations, including three priority recommendations, to address the most pressing concerns in each jurisdiction. (See the full report for the recommendations for each province and territory.)
“When we look at advances made in addressing the impaired driving problem in Canada, much of that has come through provincial and territorial initiatives, such as administrative licence suspensions, administrative vehicle impoundments and alcohol ignition interlock programs,” said MADD Canada Chief Executive Officer Andrew Murie. “But there is still a great deal of work to be done to ensure the most effective measures are in place in all jurisdictions.”
MADD Canada’s recommendations for the provinces and territories are specific to each jurisdiction’s existing legislation, but generally fall within the following categories:
- graduated licensing programs and extended zero alcohol and drug limits for young and new drivers;
- short-term roadside administrative licence suspension (ALS) and administrative vehicle impoundment (AVI) programs for alcohol and for drugs;
- 90-day alcohol and drug-delated ALS and AVI programs;
- long-term ALS programs for federal impaired driving offenders;
- interlock programs for federal alcohol-related driving offenders;
- support and financial programs for victims and survivors;
- enhancements and resources to maximize the benefits of federal impaired driving laws and provisions, including mandatory alcohol screening, and roadside testing for drugs.
“Most provinces and territories have legislation that addresses some of these measures, but they are often missing key elements that would significantly maximize results in terms of deterring impaired driving and supporting victims and survivors,” Mr. Murie said. “Our Top 10 Report identifies those areas and provides a blueprint for meaningful, effective changes.”
When considering measures to recommend, MADD Canada takes a comprehensive approach that includes a combination of countermeasures to deter impaired driving, reduce repeat offences and support victims and survivors. It also selects those that are compatible with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and are likely to have wide public support.
The current report addresses MADD Canada’s particular concern about impaired driving among young and novice drivers, a group that has been dramatically over-represented in impairment-related crash deaths and injuries. It also reflects the effectiveness of provincial administrative measures, rather than criminal or court-based sanctions, for impaired driving offenders who have not caused a crash resulting in a death or injury. Recent experience in British Columbia and Alberta indicate that immediate roadside administrative measures are far less labour intensive and appear to be more effective than criminal proceedings in deterring impaired driving. (It should be noted that the emphasis on provincial administrative sanctions does not replace the need for strong federal Criminal Code charges and consequences for repeat impaired driving offenders, or impaired drivers who cause fatal or personal injury crashes.)
MADD Canada has a long history of promoting public policies to reduce impaired driving and support victims and survivors. Since 1998, MADD Canada has conducted regular reviews of provincial/territorial impaired driving legislation. Commonly referred to as the Rating the Provinces report, its purpose was to identify effective measures that the provinces/territories could implement to reduce impaired driving and support victims.
“Over the coming weeks, MADD Canada will be reaching out to provinces and territories to discuss the recommendations and how the jurisdictions can make meaningful changes to reduce the rate of impaired driving and improve safety on their roads,” Mr. Murie said.
About MADD Canada
MADD Canada (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) is a national, charitable organization that is committed to stopping impaired driving and supporting the victims of this violent crime. With volunteer-driven groups in more than 100 communities across Canada, MADD Canada aims to offer support services to victims, heighten awareness of the dangers of impaired driving and save lives and prevent injuries on our roads. To learn more, visit www.madd.ca.
For more information:
Andrew Murie, MADD Canada Chief Executive Officer, 416-720-7642 or firstname.lastname@example.org